In this groundbreaking book, Navajo historian Jennifer Nez Denetdale seeks to rewrite the history of the Navajo, or Dine, people. Reared on the Navajo Nation in New Mexico and Arizona, Jennifer Nez Denetdale is the great-great-great-granddaughter of the well-known Navajo chief Manuelito (1816-1894) and his nearly unknown wife Juanita (1845-1910). Stimulated in part by seeing photographs of her ancestors, she began to explore her family history as a way of examining broader issues in Navajo historiography. Here she presents a thought-provoking examination of the construction of Dine history that underlines the dichotomy between Navajo and non-Navajo perspectives on the past.
"Denetdale's book meets the rigorous standards of a fine history that reveals to the reader much about Navajo history that has largely been missed. A fascinating page-turner that should be on the must-read list of anyone interested in the history of the American Southwest." —Journal of Arizona History"Jennifer Nez Denetdale’s book is a groundbreaking study, relevant for anyone interested in indigenous studies. A stellar example of the excellent work, and personal journey, that can be undertaken when Native scholars engage in ‘writing our own history.'" —Journal of Folklore Research
JENNIFER NEZ DENETDALE is assistant professor of history at the University of New Mexico. Her articles on Navajo history have been published in the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, the Journal of Social Archaeology, and the New Mexico Historical Review.
List of Figures ix
Recovering Dine Intellectual Traditions: At the Intersection of History and Oral Tradition; Or, "It's Hard Work Traipsing Around in Indian Country" 17
A Biographical Account of Manuelito: Noble Savage, Patriotic Warrior, and American Citizen 51
The Imperial Gaze: Portraits of Juanita and Manuelito, 1868-1902 87
Stories of Asdzaa Tl'ogi: Dine Traditional Narratives as History 128
Stories in the Land: Navajo Uses of the Past 159
Genealogical Charts 181
Selected Bibliography 209
Figure Credits 233